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Database dump

Database dump

(also dump)

Database dump definition

A database dump (or “dump”) is a process of pulling data from a database and saving it as a structured file. In addition to the data, this file also contains a schema defining the database structure and sometimes other related information. It is used for various reasons — from data analysis to recreating the database at a later time.

See also: cloud database, data backup, data migration

How a database dump works

  • A data professional (e.g., data admin, data analyst, or data scientist) chooses which data to save from the database, such as tables or records.
  • They format this data into a specific file, making it organized.
  • The data professional saves this well-structured data as a database dump file.
  • This file is typically stored somewhere secure, like on a computer or in the cloud.
  • The data professional can use the dump file to rebuild the database with the same data and structure when necessary.
  • The data professional checks that the recreated database contains all the correct information.

Database dump applications

  • Backup and recovery. Database dumps let you save your data and use it to recover your database if something goes wrong.
  • Data migration. Database dumps are used to move data from one database to another.
  • Testing and development. You can use database dumps to make copies of a database for practicing or testing without affecting the real one.
  • Data analysis. Database dumps help data experts study and understand information, making it easier to analyze and draw conclusions.
  • Archiving. Dumps can also store away old data you don’t need daily.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security